Advice on finding work
Just graduated from a regional police academy here in South Texas. I passed my state licensing exam on thursday and I'm ready to actually begin my career.
I would appreciate any information or pointers anyone could provide about applications, interviewing, etc.
I would have recommended you travel to wherever the jobs are and get hired by an agency that will train you and pay you too. Your certification won't likely do you any good outside Texas. Lateral hires are usually required to have street time to qualify. If you get hired out of state you'll be trained again unless you are coming from the job.
Since you now have your Texas cert start looking for every job you can find and apply. Take the first one that comes along. If you start with larger agencies you'll find they probably have more frequent turnover and hiring. Less politics involved with hiring too (small agencies with one position usually know who they are going to hire and the process is a formality.)
Once you put your app in somewhere keep in mind it's an integrity check. Nobody is an angel and they aren't expecting you to be perfect. They are expecting you to be honest about your past and your mistakes. You should come out of the interviews and polygraphs feeling like the worst human in the world because you've just discussed every pimple and wort in your past. Make sure you are 100% honest on the applications and there are no new surprises to get revealed during the polygraph and interview. Also keep in mind that most polys now are starting out with discussing any research you've done and whether you've looked into how to beat them. Stay away from those anti-polygraph websites.
Be honest and be yourself. Apply everywhere. Good luck.
Wear a suit for everything. Wear it when you get the application, when you turn in the application, every step of the process but the physical fitness tests. this shows them you are serious about the job and they will appreciate the professionalism.
the DFW area is a treasure trove of jobs that start out in the $50Kish range. With tons of work to do and action for the taking. Trust me when I say this: you'd rather have a job in a bigger city than a smaller one. There's more action in a bigger city AND more opportunity for advancement and assignment to interesting details. Smaller towns have patrol and a couple of detectives and a couple of admins and that's about it. Doing the same thing gets old after a while......
South Texas? Try Austin. They don't pay shit in the academy, but upon graduation they make pretty decent cash. And they're starting a big hiring push, so you might sneak in there.....
In Oregon, there is only one Police Academy and it's ran by the State. The only way you can attend the academy is by being hired by an agency and sent there, by that agency. While your attending the academy, the hiring agency pays you because you are an employee of the sponsoring agency.
I've applied to every department within a 45 minute radius of where I live. Is there anything else I should do or is it best to just wait for someones call?
Apply, apply, apply! I don't know what your marital status is but expand your search as far as you can. When it comes to the interview process, never, ever lie. Assume that a department will have done an extensive background check, and if you try to bullshit them, you'll be out faster than an Illiinois politician chasing a bribe!